26th Feb2018

Panel Discussion #47 – Punisher vs. Hawkeye!

by Dan Clark

Panel-Discussion-header

Welcome back to another installment of Panel Discussion – this time featuring a round-up of the comics that have been peaking our interest recently…

Old Man Hawkeye #2

Written by Ethan Sacks | Art by Marco Checchetto

One common thread with Marvel comics as of late has been taking concepts that sound ridiculous or just plain awful and making them work. The Old Man Logan universe is one that will not go away. Not only has Old Man Logan taken the place of his younger counterpart we how have this series telling Hawkeye’s story prior to his epic adventure with Logan. Despite the lack of necessity to tell this story Ethan Sacks and Marco Checchetto are putting together a book worthy of its predecessor.

It starts with the art of Marco Checchetto. Sacks scripts have their moments but this is a prime case of art elevating story. Looking at the character of Bullseye he has been built up mainly by Checchetto’s staging of the character. Starting with a great design that has a steampunk feel with the bowler cap and futuristic tech. There is a great moment in the opening pages with Bullseye simply sitting at a kitchen table with bodies piled on the group beneath him as if he is a man who can control chaos with little effort.

Hawkeye’s journey is also a heartbreaking one. Having to deal with the haunted images of all his friends being brutally murdered and now knowing his greatest gift is slipping away. There is something about an aging hero going on one last journey that just works. Perhaps its the basic idea of seeing a superhero become human. Whatever it is when it works it works well.

This issues continues the Western style feel even going so far to have a major shootout in a saloon. Checchetto’s staging of action is fantastic. You feel the brutal force of seeing someone taken out by blunt forced arrow. Even when you have an issue like this one that does not include much story that atmosphere is strong enough to make it an engaging comics.

Sometimes there are just those universes that open the door for great storytelling. Credit Mark Millar for what he did with the Old Man Logan story originally years ago. By only touching on so much with that story it left room to explore stories like this one that can give us the else world take so many comic fans love.

**** 4/5

The Punisher #221

Written by Matthew Rosenberg | Art by Guiu Vilanova

Writing great comic books is not necessarily rocket science. Sometimes it is simple as taking a born bad ass and putting him in a fully loaded metal suit and letting him roam free in a country full of people who deserve justice. That is exactly what Matthew Rosenberg has done with the character of the Punisher and its been a tremendous success so far.

Issue #221 does not break what is not broken. After the events of last issue Frank Castle is looking for some way to fix his new toy armor. A few dead bodies and a short while latter Castle is back on his armored feet causing destruction once again. Rosenberg has made him into a character reminiscent of a horror villain. Stalking his prey by finding places to strike that are the least expected.

Whether it is hiding underneath a frozen lake or lurking in the shadows as his next victim carelessly walks through their door, Castle is there to bring his brand of justice. There is something darkly humorous about the extremes Castle is going to complete his mission. Anything you would think the Punisher would do in this situation he is basically been doing. He will just nonchalantly pick someone up and fly them miles into the air and let them go as if he was just conducting a elementary school science project on the dangerous of gravity.

The one element that does need to happen to stop this from becoming stale is establishing a credible threat. Right now it is like watching someone play a video game with the cheat codes on and so far it has been fun to witness the carnage. That can only last for so long before it becomes a tad bit redundant. Based on the ending of this issue that threat has possibly emerged and should help add some tension to make this book that more enjoyable. So far this story has had the freedom and relentlessness of fan fiction matched with the talent of high quality creators making it one of comics most consistent titles these past few months.

**** 4/5

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